Car thieves target Mearns

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NEWTON Mearns has been hit by a spate of break ins and high-value car thefts, leaving residents with growing safety concerns.

According to community inspector Alan Dickson, there have been six incidents across the new Newton Mearns housing estates in one week, each between 1 and 6am, and five of which resulted in cars being stolen.

He told The Extra: “The trend for breaking into houses and stealing keys for high value cars has always been present in Newton Mearns, but there has been a definite upturn.

“We are working with CID to maximise every opportunity to detect the 
individuals.

“We’re also leafleting affected areas, and additional patrols will be rolled out for the next two weeks, with support from the dog branch and traffic policing teams.”

One resident — who asked not to be named — woke last week to the sound of intruders searching the ground floor of his home.

He explained: “I could see torch lights on the wall, so I told my wife to phone the police and shouted at them to get out of the house — but they didn’t seem intimidated in the slightest.

“It seems to have been going on for some time now, but we didn’t realise the extent until it happened to us.

“It’s important that neighbours know what’s going on, so that we’re all more 
vigilant.”

A neighbouring couple, also wishing to remain anonymous, have gone door-to-door warning neighbours about the incidents, after spotting a man standing outside their living room window last 
week.

They commented: “We all feel powerless, and are taking our own measures to make our homes secure. We’ve spoken to neighbours who are taking weapons to bed with them, and we keep a baseball bat handy in case a thief decides to venture upstairs.

“It’s rife and in such a concentrated area, yet the police patrol once or twice a night, coming into the street then driving away again. More should be done to monitor the entry and exit areas to the estates.”

Inspector Dickson added: “Our advice is to contact us and report anything suspicious.

“The trend seems to be high-value cars, so I’d imagine the group are doing reconnaissance during the day.

“If anyone sees anything they’re concerned about during the day, if they notice a strange car parked at night or if security lights come on in the early hours, please call us immediately — don’t wait until morning.

“Hopefully residents will see an improved police presence in the coming weeks.”

Have you been the victim of a car theft or break in? Share your thoughts by e-mailing the address above, or on Facebook or Twitter.